The possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use may be decriminalised under new proposals recently announced by the Government, such drugs include heroin, cocaine and cannabis.

A new National Drugs Strategy is to be published by Leo Varadkar (Taoiseach), Simon Harris (Minister for Health) and Catherine Byrne (Minister of State for Drugs), which will govern an official plan regarding substance abuse through 2020.

This strategy will look at new alternatives and substitutes for minor drug possession rather than criminal convictions. It will also be “tasked with exploring the approaches taken in other jurisdictions and reviewing current legislation applying to simple possession offences” says the Irish Times.

The strategy will be conducted by a working group who will be asked to supply the Minister for Health with “an analysis of alternative approaches to criminal sanctions” and recommendations within 12 months.

This whole new outlook is hoping to achieve a “health-led approach” instead of criminalising those who are in possession of small amounts.

“Many people who use drugs problematically come into contact with the criminal justice system and acquire criminal convictions, either directly or indirectly related to their drug use.” Outlines the new strategy. “Criminal convictions can represent a serious impediment for people seeking to move on from drug misuse and involvement in crime, particularly in the areas of access to employment, housing and travel.”

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